Monday, September 14, 2009

Points of View - September 14

Who's Too Big to Fail? - The Wall Street Journal - "With Congress back in session and the anniversary of the Lehman Brothers failure upon us, the Obama Administration is resuming its quest for greatly expanded authority to bail out American businesses. Under the Treasury reform blueprint, any financial company, whether a regulated bank or not, could be rescued or seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation if regulators believe it poses a systemic risk."

Reforming the Financial System - The New York Times - "The administration has proposed legislation that would bring most of the financial system under a regulatory umbrella, and impose higher capital requirements to cushion against losses. But in specific areas, like consumer protection, Obama officials will have to fight to ensure that lawmakers do not water down the administration’s intent."

Get Real on Health Care - By Roger Cohen - The New York Times - "Some of my summer in France was spent listening to indignant outbursts about U.S. health care reform. The tone: 'You must be kidding! What’s there to debate if 46.3 million Americans have no health insurance?'"

A Public Health Plan? 30% of Us Already Have One - By Kristen Gerencher - MarketWatch - "The slice of the U.S. health-insurance pie consumed by people in government programs grew last year as more Americans received coverage from Medicare and Medicaid and fewer were covered by private insurance, according to a new report. The number of people with public health coverage of all types, including the State Children's Health Insurance Program, or S-Chip, ballooned to 87.4 million from 83 million in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Twenty-nine percent of people were covered by government programs."

Fact-Checking the President on Health Insurance - By Scott Harrington - The Wall Street Journal - "[T]he president's examples of people 'dropped' by their insurance companies involve the rescission of policies based on misrepresentation or concealment of information in applications for coverage. Private health insurance cannot function if people buy insurance only after they become seriously ill, or if they knowingly conceal health conditions that might affect their policy."

The Art of the Possible - The Economist - "Mr Obama has to find a package of policies that is fiscally and politically moderate enough to win over a vital few Republicans to his side (and also prevent the defection of nervous conservative Democrats). But at the same time he has to keep the support of the leftish Democratic Party base, which wants to see a more expansive and costly set of reforms. He may well fail. But on September 9th the president for the first time laid out in some detail what such a plan might look like."

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